ISB Albany’s goal in working with schools is to give a human face to Islam. Our
strategy for achieving this goal is face-to-face interaction between Muslims and
school children and teachers. Our most effective process in this area is participating
in the existing public and private education of Islam in the context of World History
and Social Studies.
At teacher’s invitation, the speakers give a presentation, which combines a formal
presentation using either the transparencies or an LCD projector with an informal
interaction with the students.
Beginning with an introduction to the Islamic greeting, “Assalamu alaikum”, we cover
a variety of topics such as Islamic beliefs and practices, and how they relate to
everyday life in America, Muslim population around the world, including America, and
Islamic holidays and celebrations. In addition, speakers may tailor their presentations
to cover broader topics such as social issues for American teens, women and families,
stereotypes and perceptions, and conflicts around the world involving Muslims.
Presentations are offered throughout the school year at the teacher’s request, and they
run for about 40-90 minutes depending on the time available and the level of detail
expected by the teacher and the students.
Thousands of teachers and students have found ISB presentations both educational and
highly enjoyable. The following are some key highlights of the benefits gained by
students and teachers:
Tips for Teaching Islam in the Context of Social Studies and World History
- Muslim speakers “bring to life” information found in textbooks as well as share
real-life situations. Many students are surprised to learn that American Muslims play
basketball, eat hamburgers and go to movies, just like other Americans.
- Presentations provide an enjoyable and interactive experience for students where
they can ask questions freely.
- Most importantly, the opportunity builds bridges between people of different faiths
and culture, thereby nurturing goodwill & mutual respect.
We make the following recommendations:
- Use CIE (Council on Islamic Education) & ISB (Islamic Speakers Bureau) materials
found in their catalogues.
- Use AWAIR (Arab World And Islamic Resource) materials.
- Use TCI (Teachers Curriculum Institute) materials.
- Differentiate between the teachings of Islam and the practices of some Muslims,
as is done with other faiths. This is especially important if you are referring to
news articles about current events.
To reduce the potential of hate crimes and incidences against Muslims in America, and
change stereotypical perceptions, we recommend against the use of:
- The fictional book titled Shabanu as a complement to your teaching of Islam and
Muslims – it presents an extremely narrow and stereotypical view of Pakistani culture.
- The film "Not Without My Daughter" as a tool to teach about Islam and Muslims –
it was released during the Gulf War and presents a negative and stereotypical view of
Muslims – not unlike most Hollywood productions. The use of the media or Hollywood in
general as an authoritative source on Islam or Muslims is, thus, not recommended.
If you have any questions, please contact us.